Together for Yemen – Insights into the Yemen NGO Exchange

May 2023
Berlin, Germany

As an aid organization, we are aware that the situation in Yemen continues to be precarious. Yemen is suffering from a prolonged conflict that has resulted in one of the worst humanitarian crises worldwide. Millions of people are affected by hunger, diseases, and lack of access to clean water and sanitation facilities. In light of these challenges, it is crucial that we, as aid organizations, work together to support the vulnerable population.

This year, we had the privilege of organizing a “Yemen Exchange” for the second time, a gathering of NGOs supporting development and emergency projects in Yemen from Germany. This event, initiated by Vision Hope and held on March 16th, provided a valuable opportunity for intensive exchange and improved collaboration. The participation of government actors from the German Embassy, BMZ, Foreign Office, GIZ, and KfW was also very helpful.

One of the main topics addressed during the exchange was the current major challenges in Yemen. According to the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan 2023, a total of 200 organizations, including 12 United Nations organizations, 58 international NGOs, and 130 national NGOs, were active as aid organizations in Yemen last year. They are engaged in various areas such as education, nutrition, health, and WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene). It was important to analyze and understand these challenges in order to find more effective solutions and a path toward sustainable development.

Another focus of the exchange was the plans and visions for the Yemen program. Each organization presented its ongoing projects, strategies, and goals for the future. It was encouraging to see how dedicated and innovative the German NGOs are working in Yemen to bring about sustainable changes, from small volunteer-led associations to large aid organizations, from organizations of the Yemeni diaspora to German branches of international networks. There were also opportunities to exchange experiences and best practices to learn from other organizations and leverage synergies.

A particularly important aspect of the exchange was the collaboration among the NGOs. Vision Hope, which is mainly engaged in projects related to WASH, education, nutrition, and food security, recognized the need for German NGOs to be aware of each other and potentially work together to achieve a greater impact in Yemen. It was emphasized how important it is to collaborate more closely, share information and resources, and leverage synergies to maximize the effectiveness and sustainability of aid.

It was also noted that it can be challenging to understand which German NGOs are active in Yemen, as some of them only work through local partner organizations or are part of international networks and may not be visible in local coordination groups.

We look forward to actively implementing the discussed ideas and are already excited about the next successful exchange.

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